Anda di halaman 1dari 109

architecting ethics marc belderbos

COMMUNICATING (BY) DESIGN


1
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON RESEARCH AND PRACTICE IN ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
SINT-LUCAS, BRUSSELS CHALMERS UNIVERSITY, GÖTEBORG.
BRUSSELS 15-17TH APRIL 2009
The intention of this contribution
to the conference – communicating (by) design – is
to share with the audience
the reflexion of the author about
the proximity between architecture and ethics
both understood as
the concrete authority by which we are living
and this by making a way
in the field of architecture
trough the notions of 'communication', and 'design'.

The central point would be that


it is a primary communication between mute things
which matters in architecture.

This primary communication is


the operation of a verb:
to hold in the real and trough emptiness.

This primary operation is here explained as being


ethics and architecture
at the same place.

2
Communication About communication
the position would be that
what is primarily communicated in architecture is
the communication between things or
the communication between mute matters.

This communication has to be communicated


to the ones who are there.

Communication between mute matters is


a very delicate but mighty communication:
delicate because this communication is just there
by the invisible law of
how matters hold them self each other
in the real trough emptiness, (like the ‘abstract’ art)
and mighty because this notion of
'to hold oneself in the real' is 'ethics'.

Please notice that we will have to make


a clear distinction between
‘moral’ end ‘ethics’

3
Design About design this contribution
would maintain herself,
for the short time to her disposition,
in the space of thoughts
where it would more be accepted
that the specific word for 'to design',
in the field of architecture,
is 'to architect'
and not
this vague term 'to design'....

4
‘To design’ or ‘to architect’… Few people are unsatisfied
with the word “ to design”
for the main activity of the architect.
I'm of them.
But I'm not alone.
Corbusier yet indicates
in the first lines of his introduction to
'Vers une architecture'
* that 'to architect' was
the main intention of human kind.

Of course, the architect draws.


Of course, the architect is designing.
But using this word “to design” to indicate
the main activity of the architect
can be dangerous, because,
somewhere in the mind,
it could let think that the architect
is designing objects or, -worse!- products,
or that he is marking the signs of
something of some structure
which would exist
somewhere else.

5
‘To design’ or ‘to architect’… For the short time of this communication
I just would like to maintain that
the main activity of the architect
is “to architect”
for one simple reason.
And this main reason is just that
the main intention of architecture is
“to architect” too.

6
To architect The architect architects
as
Architecture architects.

What architecture does


is
what the architect does:

'to architect'.

'To architect' is a verb The word, 'to architect', says what it establishs.
'Arke' is the first order.
'Tekton' is
the unseen carpenter making
the unseen structure
under the form of the roof.

'To architect' is to give a first order


by an invisible disposition of matters.
(the disposition is invisible not the matters)

'To architect' is un-visible.


It is an operation,
an operation of dis-position
like the verb in a sentence
looking for a disposition of his subject and his object.
So, for me,
‘to architect' is a verb 7
Order: To begin to weave The 'arke', -first order-, is of course,
because it is first,
in emptiness.

And by this first order, or by arké-tecture,


or arke-disposition of matters,
there is a connotation of a not to be seen structure,
before form.

Which structure?

'Order' has a poetic etymology:


the latin word 'ordiri' which means
'to begin to weave'.

Not 'to weave' but 'to begin to weave'.

In a certain sense 'order' is bringing us


to the very begin of a tissue
waiting the subject and waiting the object
which will be hold by this tissue.

What is waiting the subject and waiting the object,


what holds the subject and hold the object,
is the verb.
Order, in that sense, is a verb. 8
seeking subject and seeking object So also in that sense, we could consider that
architecture is a verb
seeking his subject and seeking his object.

A verb is well in a certain sense that:


an articulating emptiness between substantives,
between subject and object.
Or an architecture between subject and object.

architectural space The notion of architectural space follows that.

Architectural space is
Emptiness connotated of an order, a first order.
Or emptiness connotated of a law,
by a not to be seen structure
made by a disposition of mute matters.

That space is 'Arke',


-first order- in and of emptiness,
by 'tekton’: the first disposition of matters.

mute matters That matters have to be mute


because it is their space between them,
their disposition, or their verb which have to work
And so,
the matters don't have to 'speak' or to say anything,
9
while the space or the verb are working
Two stones together installing language (1) Mario Merz told me once
something which lets feel very well this arke-tekton:
“architecture is the most important art, - he said -
because when one bring two stones together,
one create a refuge”.
Architecture or arke-tekton is well that.
To bring together two stones is a first order.
To bring together two stones is just
to bring two stones in communication.

It is installing language
between mute things,
or by ‘silence’ as Kahn said.
It is installing language by silence.

Please notice here that


‘to be mute’
is not
‘to be without language’
but is
‘not to access to the words’ or ‘not to speak’

10
Two stones together installing language (2) There are thousands ways
to bring two stones together
or a multiplicity of stones together
Or a multiplicity of mute things.

Each of this ways is another communication.


Each of this ways is another structure.
Each of this ways is another law
in the emptiness between this two stones,
making of this emptiness a space,
an architectural space.

Space which is clearly a refuge


out of emptiness before law,
out of emptiness without law,
out of emptiness before language
out of emptiness without language.

11
communication between things So 'to architect' is just
to bring in communication things
-stones, walls, slabs, all kind of mute matters –
in the intention of
offering to the ones who are there

a refuge
out of emptiness without law,
out of emptiness without language;

or a refuge
close to a first language

or a refuge
holding a first distance
to the real -without language -
giving the possibility
to make a reality in it.

And so 'to architect' is also


to give to somebody space
'between matters' and so 'out of matters'
So, to give him space is
to give him the clear indication
that he, his mind or his spirit,
isn't trapped within the material physical dimension.
12
humanity in a first distance 1 All this is simply humanity (not humanism):
to accept and understand
that the disposition of two stones or of mute matters
is holding the one who is there
in a first distance
to the real without language,
giving the possibility
to make a reality in it by language.

Animals are almost without distance to nature,


like water in water.
Animals don't have variation
of their distance to nature.
Animals don't have architecture.
Animals don’t have variation of language.

Humanity can give to itself


a chosen and variable
distance to nature or to the real.

13
humanity in a first distance 2 Humanity feels a first order in disposition of matters.

So it is in that comprehension of humanity


that we could understand
that the architecting architect
is more seeking
the communication in emptiness
between mute material things,
and to let
the law of this communication live as a truth.

That is to say that,


for the architecting architect,
this delicate
communication in emptiness between mute things
constitutes what has to be communicated
in the delicate way of connotations
to people who are there.

14
inaugural law So, in that sense,
the 'architecting architect'
is more looking to an inaugural law
than the 'designing architect' producing
'final products' or 'architectural objects' in the
intention to give them to the use or to the
contemplation as a whole,
or to make of them existing signs.
existence - consistence The architecting architect just seeks
to let communicate the law in emptiness
between material things in a delicate way.

The architecting architect doesn't specially like


the existence of objects.

He doesn't like objects which are not mute.

The architecting architect


doesn't like what exists.
He prefers what consists.

15
existence - consistence The architecting architect prefers what consists.
He doesn't like existence,
he prefers consistence.
Consistence of accomplished logics
which could be called 'beauty'.
Consistence of well extended and orientated structures,
which could be called 'Ideas'.
Consistence of the disappearing 'real in real'
antecedent to reality
which could be called the sublime.
Consistence of the beginning order
which could be called 'the law'.
Consistence of the incompletion (not incompletness)
which could be called the 'divine'.
Consistence of the fidelity
to a inaugural event in emptiness
which could be called 'truth'.
Consistence of 'to be hold well'
and thereby 'to behave well'
which could be called ethics.

All that notions, logics, ethics, truth, beauty, structure,


idea, sublime, order, law, incompletion, divine ...
don't exist but consist.

* And each of us knows Kahn's famous words:


'I believe that architecture doesn't exist.....' 16
seeking more reason So, for the architecting architect,
design is not a valid word if we take it strictly.
Because architecture is 'in se' like mathematics.
Both are not sign of anything and are so mute as
number and order.
The architecting architect is not looking
for the sign of something.
He is not describing or materialising
a yet existing and well known Idea or object.
'To architect' is not adequate to an object and is not
describing whatever already would exist.
Also because, as a verb, 'to architect' is an operation
and so seeks first a subject and afterwards an object.

If we think that the project is coming after the Idea or is


to draw a yet existing Idea than I'm afraid we are
thinking in a world and in a time that are done:
the humanistic world
which has to be strongly distinguished from
the human world.
In the humanistic world the human being is considered
as higher, central and sufficient,
and goes straight on his Idea.
This is not so practicable anymore for reasonable
people. I mean people seeking more reason,
who accept their incompletion 17
the obliqueness of truth We have to accept that
the humanistic closed world
of sure figuration or sure reason is done.

And so we have to accept the obliqueness of truth:


We have to accept that,
projecting, we are not going straight to an existing Idea
or 'straight to the same' which is known
but 'in obliqueness to the other' which is unknown.
As we do in love,
as we do in politics,
as we do in science (when it is not just describing),
as we do in art,
all intimately linked to architecture and
going to the other.

We have to accept that,


projecting, we are going in obliqueness to the other
and that 'to project' is to draw an unknown idea
bringing her to the mind
of which purity lies so, in the incompletion.

18
'Purity lies in the incompletion' That is why we like and are looking so much to 'form'.
The answer is easy but unbearable:
Because we, as human being,
don't have still enough form.

After the humanistic purity,


the new 'purity lies in the incompletion'.
We are not formed enough to hold our-self
in a world without form
which would just be real.

* ’The purity lies in the incompletion' Kahn said


as all his architecture says.

So, let's be careful to not close form in completion.

19
adequacy and pertinence And in this way of thoughts
we have to choose between
adequacy and pertinence.

Adequacy is
adequacy to the past or to what exist yet,
believing that it is full, complete and enough.

Pertinence takes with it always


a certain notion of time which is not done,
a certain notion of future, of future life,
a certain notion of space
still in the incompletion.

'Per-tenere' is 'to hold through’ that emptyness.

20
concrete authority by which we are living: 'To hold trough the time',
ethics 'to hold trough emptiness'
in the real before reality,
before signification,
in pertinence not in adequacy,
is precise what ethics want to give us:
just what we need to begin to live
and to begin to weave our life in the real,
permitting so a reality.

Ethic is
‘the concrete authority by which we are living’.
It is not theoretical.
It is a physical authority, a concrete authority giving us
body, giving us architecture.

But the notion 'to hold trough emptiness '


like the two stones of Mario Merz,
permitting space, life and time,
is the very primary notion of architecture.
Architecture is made of that communication:
to hold trough emptiness and founding time.

21
concrete authority by which we are living: To give a communication
architecture in a law
between primary mute material things,
and leaving this inaugural law
of disposition of primary mute material things
connote the emptiness
making of it
a space holding emptiness trough time
and permitting life,
that is 'to architect',
making of architecture
the concrete authority by which we are living.

So we have
the same words
for architecture as for ethics:
To hold trough emptiness
'the concrete authority by which we are living' .

22
Let's be for one more moment very careful.

The terms ‘ethics’ and ‘moral’


have been the objects of long and multiple discussions
since the begin of each way of thinking.
I choose the following distinction
just to help myself as an architect.

So, for me,


Ethics are not Moral.
(Ethics are eventualy the roots or the space of Moral)

Moral ('mores' is ‘commonly accepted activity’ in Latin )


is the authority by which we act or not.
Moral is sort a theory of activity.
Moralism is the authority under which we act.
Ethos (pronounced /ˈiːθɒs/) (ἦθος, ἔθος, plurals: ethe (ἤθη), ethea Moralism is the authority under which we are living
(ἤθεα)) is a Greek word originally meaning
"accustomed place" (as in ἤθεα ἵππων "the habitat of
horses", Il. 6.511), "custom, habit", that can be Ethics is the concrete authority by which we are living
translated into English in different ways. Some
possibilities are 'starting point', 'to appear', 'disposition' Architecture has little to do with moral or moralism.
and from there, 'character'.
Ethos forms the root of ethikos (ἠθικός), meaning Architecture has little to do with what is happening in it.
"moral, showing moral character". To the Greeks It just permits it.
ancient and modern, the meaning is simply "the state
of being", the inner source, the soul, the mind, and the
original essence, that shapes and forms a person or Architecture is not moral or moralistic.
animal[1]. It doesn't say what to do or how to act.

Wikipedia * Architecture is ethical, not moral.


23
Architecture is ethical, not moral.

Here we see some suggestion of it in this extract of


the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

We see the words "accustomed place" , habitat….


Which are architectural words.

We see 'starting point', 'to appear', 'disposition'


Which remember us what we said:
order as ‘to begin to weave’
‘disposition of matters’…

We see Ethos as the root of showed moral.

And finally we see. To the Greeks ancient and modern,


the meaning is simply "the state of being", the inner
Ethos (pronounced /ˈiːθɒs/) (ἦθος, ἔθος, plurals: ethe (ἤθη), ethea source, the soul, the mind, that shapes and forms a
(ἤθεα)) is a Greek word originally meaning
"accustomed place" (as in ἤθεα ἵππων "the habitat of person or animal.
horses", Il. 6.511), "custom, habit", that can be
translated into English in different ways. Some So we see
possibilities are 'starting point', 'to appear', 'disposition'
and from there, 'character'. ethos as a verb,
Ethos forms the root of ethikos (ἠθικός), meaning ethos as a state of being,
"moral, showing moral character". To the Greeks ethos as an architecture or
ancient and modern, the meaning is simply "the state
of being", the inner source, the soul, the mind, and the as the concrete authority by which we are living.
original essence, that shapes and forms a person or
animal[1]. (Please notice also that the word authority doesn’t means power.
Architecture is an authorithy without power) 24
Wikipedia
ethos as a verb,
ethos as a state of being,
ethos as an architecture or
as the concrete authority by which we are living

‘Living’ maybe in a ‘good’ way maybee in a ‘bad’ way.


Ethos doens’t give a moral garantee
Ethos as architecture aims just
the identified and consistent notion of life
Ethos as architecture aims just
what Alberti called ‘dignitas’
which could be a consistent ‘state of being’
which could be called ‘wellbeing’,
but not happyness or confort…..
with which architecture is not involved.

25
I just repeat finally
before showing you two projects

To give a communication
in an inaugural law
between primary mute material things
and leaving this inaugural law
of disposition of primary mute material things
connote the emptiness
making of it a space
holding emptiness trough time
and permitting life,
that is 'to architect',
making of architecture
the concrete authority by which we are living.

Precisely like ethics.

For the architecting architect,


architecture is,
in that delicate way,
communicating ethics

So we could
in further developments of this thoughts consider that
to contemplate architecture
is
to contemplate ethics or
to read architecture is to read the ethics of the ones who are there 26or
to read the architecture of a society is to read the ethics of that society…
With
from this
Herenow
But as
firstmain
the two onethought:
buildings….
an ethic of the completion
to
an ethic of the incompletion
10 m

60 m
What can
an architect do
to-day with
the
a figure
close
that?
closed of
rectangle?
the completion?
humanistic
mute structure?
from
an ethic of the completion
to
an ethic of the incompletion

Well,
Here what I made….
What
First
when
Then
Finnaly cutting
an
hecan
open
wantsit
developping
stabilising it
with a much do
architect
distinction
to
an pass
architecturebigger
open
to-day
from
only empty
in thewith
an with
whole
ethic
open real
structure
a closed
introducing
of the completion
elements
humanistic
thisanclosed
to ethic form in
of thestructure,
mute
more then itself
incompletion?
….
from
an ethic of the completion
to
an ethic of the incompletion

Finnaly stabilising it
and opening it
by a second
open structure
from
an ethic of the completion
to
an ethic of the incompletion

mute
So welines
see or mute
mute matters
things communicating
communicating together in obliqueness
together
and installing silently in emptyness
and opening, without end, a first close space (the rectangle) , by a structure ‘going to the other’.
a space of obliqueness and incompletion
for the ones who are there
from
an ethic of the completion
to
an ethic of the incompletion

In this four slides you see how I was seeking to open a closed world….
from
an ethic of the completion
to
an ethic of the incompletion

33
from
an ethic of the completion
to
an ethic of the incompletion

34
from
an ethic of the completion
to
an ethic of the incompletion

35
from
an ethic of the completion
to
an ethic of the incompletion

Architecture of building and garden is the same along a landscape


so, ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ are not ‘opposed’ anymore in this architecture
from
an ethic of the completion
to
an ethic of the incompletion

37
from
an ethic of the completion
to
an ethic of the incompletion

Just a small orientated sign


at the edge of the real
or here, under the nature
where humans live
in the connotation of obliqueness and incompletion 38
A sign so primitive as a ‘scripture of an articulation’ or as ‘verb’.
plan in perspective…
without any closed figure
But even
in the third dimension
there aren’t closed figures
But even
in the third dimension
there aren’t closed figures

a sort of
oblique opening
to the sky,
or to the heaven,
of the whole building
The new architecture
was virtually greater
then the existing
and is just interrupted
in the reality
by the old building
Photo: Christine Bastin
you
fromseeeach room,
that
one one can live in it
can see
in
allathe
certain
other rooms.
connotation
So that eachofspace
obliqueness
is ‘going to the other’
and takes
something
of the other
in itself
one see that in the ‘garden’ something is weaved
from
an ethic of the completion
to
an ethic of the incompletion

the communication, in emptiness, between mute material things


weaving and building incompletion ….

a second project…..
KLAVERTJEVIER
Marc BELDERBOS AAC Marc VANDE PERRE
Brussels
weaving
allready present
in the urban ‘tissue’
in the specifical form
of the lowest part
of a valley
weaving
immediately present in the first sketches
weaving
immediately present in the first sketches as an order in incompletion
weaving
immediately present in the first sketches as an order in incompletion builded as this:

Notice:
this is not the building
this is the tissue in incompletion whereon
the matters of the building will find place
tissue
On the order or on the tissue, a disposition of matters
weaving and building incompletion ….

On the order or on the tissue


tissue, a disposition of matters
an opening in obliqueness,
combs , lines
no closed figures
weaving and building incompletion ….
The next slides show it
in the third dimension
weaving and building incompletion ….
weaving and building incompletion ….
weaving and building incompletion ….
weaving and building incompletion ….
weaving and building incompletion ….
weaving and building incompletion ….

just variation on the same law


weaving and building incompletion ….

never a closed place


never a closed place Which doesn’t mean: no inner place
We worked with ‘niches’ for the places to stay
But with open ‘niches’
an ethic of
weaving and building incompletion ….

So that childrens who, at school as in life, are weaving and building themselves in a society
can hold themselves and feel themselves there at school and in the city by the connotation of the structure of the place
an ethic of
weaving and building incompletion ….

The classrooms aren’t places of ‘concentration’


but places of ‘situation’ by weaving and building incompletion
there and in the city
an ethic of
weaving and building incompletion ….
an ethic of
weaving and building incompletion ….
an ethic of
weaving and building incompletion ….
an ethic of
weaving and building incompletion ….
an ethic of
weaving and building incompletion ….
an ethic of
weaving and building incompletion ….
an ethic of
weaving and building incompletion ….
no end: just an interruption
an ethic of
weaving and building incompletion ….
inside and outside are not opposed
inside and outside are not opposed
an ethic of
weaving and building incompletion ….

I leave you with this image in which I see architecting ethics marc belderbos
a sort of architectural portrait of the incompletion
COMMUNICATING (BY) DESIGN

I tnank you all INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON RESEARCH AND PRACTICE IN ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
SINT-LUCAS, BRUSSELS CHALMERS UNIVERSITY, GÖTEBORG.
BRUSSELS 15-17TH APRIL 2009
RESERVE FOR AN EVENTUAL DISCUSSION…

architecting ethics marc belderbos

COMMUNICATING (BY) DESIGN


93
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON RESEARCH AND PRACTICE IN ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
SINT-LUCAS, BRUSSELS CHALMERS UNIVERSITY, GÖTEBORG.
BRUSSELS 15-17TH APRIL 2009